Beer We Go

S ince it opened in 2018, The Beeracks, a collaborative beer brewery in East Haven, has flown under the radar. The name, a play on “barracks,” is a little puzzling, and the location, shrouded in a leafy industrial zone at the end of a perplexing series of turns, isn’t the easiest to reach. The listed hours, uneven and divided between takeout and hangout, are fairly confusing.

But there are snifter-sized pots of gold at the end of this rainbow. During a visit just yesterday, the vibes were refreshingly unpretentious, and the beers I tried—six of them chosen from 18 varieties on tap, each available in 5 oz. ($3-5) and 12 oz. ($7-9) pours, all brewed under that very roof—were wildly different and delicious.

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Out on the modest loading dock-turned-patio, it took only a few sips on an empty stomach before Overshores Brewing Company’s QWAD, a “Belgian quadruple” clocking in at 10% ABV, started going to my head. Bready, sweet and rich, with a deep amber color like pancake syrup, it was surprisingly smooth for being so strong. An excellent counterpoint was a light, lemony, 4% Berliner Weisse titled Good People Bad Habits, also from Overshores.

Meanwhile, The Goods by Hull’s became my new summer favorite—easy but flavorful, with notes of citrus and peach. It was refreshing and far smoother than you’d expect from a double IPA, while still weighing in at a respectable 8%. My friend’s new favorite was the Neptune’s Dagger from Armada Brewing, a 5.5% pale ale balancing flora with hints of orange rind and unripened tropical fruit. She claimed it was like “drinking a field of wildflowers,” prompting a debate about whether fruit or flower defined the beer.

There was no question about the defining flavor of Armada’s Black Is Beautiful. The 10% imperial stout offered a big jolt of java with smaller notes of dark chocolate. Those who prefer the candy shop to the coffee shop would do well to try the Razz Lime, a “fruited sour ale” from Hoax Brewing Company that’s pink like ripe grapefruit and comes in at a very reasonable 4.5% ABV.

Hoax co-founder and co-owner Sean Ricci, whose company is one of three resident brewers at The Beeracks alongside five contract operations including Hull’s, attributes the consistent level of refinement across all these divergent offerings to the collaborative brewery’s culture of experimentation, knowledge-sharing and constructive feedback. “We try to make very well-balanced beers here,” he says. “That’s one of the things we all like to help each other [achieve] when we’re tasting and going over recipes and everything.”

“We just have all these different brewers here, and we’re all trying new things, trying out new hops… It’s just a constant flow,” Ricci adds, and sure enough, while he and I are talking in the taproom, Chuck DelVecchio, owner of Hull’s, pops by for a few minutes to trade thoughts on some of his favorite hops—Mosaic, Incognito, El Dorado, Sabro. He then offers us a sample of Hull’s brand new “summer crusher” The Hill, a New England IPA named after the New Haven neighborhood.

As we tasted it, Ricci couldn’t quite contain himself. “Oh, that came out good, man! Sweet, smooth,” he said, and, for the seventh time in seven tries, The Beeracks delivered.

The Beeracks
250 Bradley St, East Haven
Drink-In Hours: Thurs 4-8pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 1-10pm, Sun 1-6pm
Takeout-Only Hours: Mon-Wed 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-4pm, Fri 10am-4pm
(203) 909-6224

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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